NGSA 2023: Guyana still needs to ‘catch the gap’ in the hinterland- Manickchand
Education Minister Priya Manickchand on Friday acknowledged that much more effort is needed to help reduce the educational disparities that exist between Guyana’s hinterland and coastal regions.
Manickchand engaged members of the media after she announced the results of the 2023 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).
Some information was provided earlier on pass rates in the four subject areas (Mathematics, English, Social Studies and Science) and comparative performance of boys and girls who sat the assessment. And Manickchand was asked about the performances of hinterland pupils at this year’s NGSA.
Though specific data was not readily available, Manickchand offered more general comments.
“Performance in the hinterland continues to not measure up to the performance on the coast.
“… for a variety of reasons, we have not been able to catch the gap there,” she said.
Pupils and students in the hinterland regions- which include Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine- traditionally had less access to resources than their colleagues on the coast. The geography and population size of the hinterland regions, in large part, has contributed to this.
Manickchand on Friday highlighted that there are fewer trained teachers in these regions. And according to her, there is a correlation between trained teachers and improved results.
Now, she said, the ministry is pushing forward with its ambitious goal of guaranteeing that every teacher in the education sector is trained by 2025. If achieved, that would mean that hinterland learners, like their colleagues elsewhere, would benefit from improved teaching.
Meanwhile, the Education Minister also noted that the government has been finding other ways of supporting children everywhere more so since the effects of schooling disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic are still being addressed.
That includes providing more learning materials be it textbooks or online content or continuing to use a consolidated curriculum.